Title: A Learning Experience
Chapter: 4 - Dirty Laundry
Author: Car Jack
Pairings: Hakkai/Gojyo
Rating: NC-17
Beta(s): ditch_gospel, guanyin_kun
Status: In Progress

Summary: Hakkai does some laundry and visits the bookstore.



Disclosure: Saiyuki is owned by Minekura Kazuya. 'Men Loving Men' is authored by Mitch Walker. 'Joy of Gay Sex' is authored by Felice Picano and Dr. Charles Silverstein. I do not know if either of these books have actually been translated into Chinese or any language other than English.


Dirty Laundry


Warm. Comfortable.

Snuggly, even.

Hakkai burrowed deeper into his comfortable nest before slowly waking to these feelings and to the feel of something *someone?* large and warm pressed along his side. In that ethereal world between sleep and wakefulness, Hakkai thought himself back in the home he and Gojyo shared when they also shared a bed. He sighed regretfully and rolled away from Gojyo's warmth wanting to hide the erection he almost always woke up with.

It was turning over that alerted him to the fact that he was naked.

Naked.

He never went to bed naked. Especially not if he was sharing a bed.

With Gojyo.

Memory came flooding back to him and he fully awoke. It was still dark outside but he estimated they had been asleep a couple of hours. The moon was angled to shine right into the room and across the bed. Perhaps that was what woke him. Hakkai rolled back over and turned to face the redhead, thinking perhaps Gojyo should go to his own room so he wasn't discovered here.

He watched Gojyo, sound asleep sprawled on his stomach with his right arm dangling off the bed. The bed sheet was gathered around his waist. With the light of the moon, Hakkai could see several of the scars covering the hanyou's back; some recent, many old. He easily remembered the recent marks and how they happened, his feelings of inadequacy in keeping his loved ones safe surfaced. He wished he could heal Gojyo of all his injuries, even to the point of healing his oldest of scars. Emotional and physical. He truly hated the woman who put such deeply painful scars on such a young child.

He ran his fingers down one series of old, ridged scars, faded tears running from the base of Gojyo's right shoulder blade and traveling up over the shoulder. He imagined a clawed hand grabbing the small shoulder, ripping open the skin.

So much pain.

Gojyo's back was literally riddled with puckers, faded rips, and discolorations – these last were bruises left over from their last youkai encounter. Hakkai briefly forgot about his own youkai form as he cursed the whole race. At the top of his list of those he wanted to personally kill was the woman who had raised Gojyo.

Bitch.

He leaned down and tenderly kissed the white ribbed tears, breathing in Gojyo's alluring scent. His fingers traced over other scars and he ran the sensitive pads over Gojyo's back like a blind man reading Braille, following the touches with soft kisses. He wasn't aware when Gojyo woke up, being so absorbed in kissing his 'hurts' away and re-memorizing his personal smell.

Gojyo lay very still. At first, when he woke to the feel of Hakkai touching and kissing him, he thought the healer woke up feeling horny. He almost turned over until he realized that Hakkai wasn't simply kissing him, he was following over his scars. Not sure how to react to this, or what it meant, he stayed still.

This wasn't the fist time someone took an interest in the marks covering his body; many women coo-ed over them, exclaiming at how they must have hurt. He, of course, assured them of how strong he was and made comments on how 'they should have seen the other guys'.

Slowly, with feather light touches of his fingers and mouth, Hakkai made his way down the kappa's back to his waist. When he encountered the sheet, he carefully sat up and tenderly took the thin fabric between his thumb and forefinger. This was done so gently that the only way Gojyo knew the sheet was being pulled down was the feel of cooler air caressing his now bare ass and upper thighs. Soon, though, the feel of Hakkai's fingers lightly touching his skin and skimming over the sensitive flesh of his butt made him extremely aware of the healer's attention. His body also acknowledged the attention.

Hakkai allowed his eyes to thoroughly study Gojyo's rump in a way he never would have dared to before. The scarring was less severe here and all the marks were more recent. Wait. What's this? Hakkai pulled the sheet down further, exposing an old, white scar running about half way down Gojyo's inner thigh to just above the knee. He'd never really noticed this before, perhaps because of its location on the inner thigh. He would have missed it now if Gojyo's legs weren't parted just enough, showing the slightly darker color of his scrotum and the way the moon was just now shining on the area.

You damn bitch.

The healer didn't really know if Gojyo's mother had done this or not but he was very willing to blame her for it. Slowly, a low burn of anger wound its way through him, gaining in strength. Such people like Gojyo's mother, they just should not be allowed to exist. They don't deserve to exist. They're existence should be taken away. Revoked. If she were here now, I would -

His eyes focused on his hand, his fingers resting lightly over Gojyo's thigh, and he froze. He abruptly became aware of his anger and the thoughts flooding his mind. Thoughts of hate. Thoughts of rage. Thoughts of – murder. He deliberately pulled his hand back and away from Gojyo, turning it to scrutinize the palm. A palm that, in his eyes, was still stained with blood. He couldn't see the blood, but he knew it was still there.

He shouldn't be touching Gojyo, not with these bloody hands. How could he forget? What if he were to transfer some of this taint to Gojyo? His eyes were drawn back to the beautiful man sleeping next to him and he gasped, his eyes widening in horror. Streams of blood twisted over the hanyou's back, glistening dark in the moonlight. He jerked back.

Almost immediately he realized that, no, it was not blood that trailed over Gojyo's scars but simply his hair. Nevertheless, he pulled away from his bedmate and curled into himself. He had to keep from touching Gojyo, from staining him with his taint.

Gojyo knew definitely something had gone wrong and finally stirred, turning his head around to face Hakkai. He had trouble reading the healer's expression in the pale light, the moon casting his face in shadow, but his body stance was withdrawn, leaning back and trying to curl in, his arms slowly moving to wrap around himself.

"Hakkai? What's wrong?" The night kept Gojyo's voice soft and he carefully sat up, as Hakkai seemed to pull as far away from him as he could. "Hakkai?" The brunet just cringed further away, confusing Gojyo even more. He wondered what could have freaked him out. "Talk to me, Lover. What is it?"

Hakkai's sharp breaths rasped harshly in the dark. Finally, Gojyo heard him draw in a long shaky breath and try to let it out smoothly, but it took another deep breath before he was able to gain some control over his breathing. By now Gojyo was getting scared.

"Hakkai?"

"Gojyo."

Gojyo waited, but Hakkai offered nothing more beyond his name.

"Are you ok?"

"Yes, Gojyo. I'm fine. Thank you."

Gojyo leaned closer to him, "No, you're not. What happened? What's wrong?"

Hakkai avoided his eyes and played his fingers over the sheet. "There's nothing wrong, Gojyo. Don't worry. Just go back to sleep."

"Not likely. Come on, Hakkai. You know you can talk to me," he maneuvered himself behind the brunet and wrapped his arms around him, holding Hakkai's tense body against his. He pulled him back between his legs and his arms mimicked Hakkai's own arms, wrapping themselves tight around the youkai. He tried to fold his body around his lover's like a blanket, his chin resting down on Hakkai's shoulder. "Please, don't close me out."

"I don't –" -know what you mean. –how to explain. –deserve you. Hakkai didn't know how he wanted to finish his sentence. Feeling Gojyo's body blanket him, he was unable to stay aloof and when the redhead gripped his wrists and pulled his arms away from his body, he didn't resist. As Gojyo turned his fists upward, his hands opened.

The two of them looked at Hakkai's hands in the light of the moon. As if called, the luminous glow shone over his hands and palms, displaying all the lines and crevices in lunar detail.

"When you stare at your hands, do you see something?"

The soft whisper of Gojyo's voice just ghosted past his ear. Being enclosed by the larger man's body and dark quiet of the night made him feel suddenly secure and protected. He also kept his voice to a whisper. "Blood. They are forever stained with blood."

Gojyo's legs wrapped tighter around him, his calves crossing and tucking under Hakkai's knees so Hakkai was seated, cradled within the circle of Gojyo's legs. Hakkai found his body sinking back into the safe warmth of Gojyo.

"I don't see anything," Gojyo's thumbs caressed his palms and he turned his hands this way and that, studying them in the moonlight. "They look ok to me."

"You can't see it, but it's there. I can feel it." He curled his fingers over Gojyo's thumbs, "I don't want you to be stained with this blood, too."

Gojyo crossed their arms over Hakkai's chest again and hugged him from behind, "It wouldn't be seen. I wouldn't even know it was there. There is already so much blood on me and in me that any blood you would transfer to me would only be lost, a drop in an ocean of blood. Do you understand?" Gojyo turned his head and pressed a kiss to Hakkai's neck, to the soft area just under his ear. "You could never make me any more dirty than I already am."

"But, Gojyo-"

"Besides, these hands were touching me last night. Touching me everywhere. Were they less stained last night than they are now?"

Hakkai finally let himself fully relax against Gojyo's strong body, feeling totally enveloped by him, "I guess not."

"Well then," Hakkai let Gojyo pull his arms back out so they could once again peruse his palms. He could feel Gojyo's face pressed warmly against his left cheek, his downy soft hair tickling the short fine hairs on his skin. "There's no problem, then, is there?" His left hand was languidly drawn upwards and he turned his head just enough to watch its rise to Gojyo's mouth where the hanyou pressed a loving kiss right in the center of the palm. His breath quickened as Gojyo now kissed the 'hurts' away from his hand.

A balm. A salve coating the screaming wound gaping through his soul. That's what the halfbreed was. Gojyo was his validation to continuing his existence, his foundation in this ongoing reality. He showed him that he, Hakkai, was now a demon, and yet he also reminded him that he used to be human.

"Gojyo…" He wanted to tell his balm how much he treasured him. His friendship, his companionship, his … body. He could feel that Gojyo had an erection as it hardened further against his lower back. The hanyou went from kissing his palm to kissing his fingers and now he was twirling his tongue around the tip of his middle finger. His own erection was making an appearance as he watched his finger slowly disappear within Gojyo's warm, wet mouth, his tongue still stroking.

It felt so erotic.

"Gojyo. I want to try. Now."

"Hmm?" Gojyo's query was muffled since his mouth was occupied but his beautiful, sultry eyes questioned his own.

"I want you, Gojyo. I want you in me. I want to try it." Those beautiful red eyes widened in surprise and his finger was pulled from Gojyo's mouth.

"Now? Are you sure?" The surge of lust that suddenly seethed through Gojyo caused his voice to become clipped and harsh. He took a calming breath, running his free hand ran up Hakkai's side and traveling forward to lightly graze over the healer's nipple.

"Yes," he turned around as best as he could to face Gojyo, "Yes, I'm sure. I've wanted to for so long."

Gojyo cupped the back of his head and covered his mouth with his own. Tongues came into play and soft gasps and heavy breathing filled the quiet night air. The two bodies writhed and twisted together as they rearranged themselves. When they finally came to rest, Hakkai was flat on his back with Gojyo sprawled atop him.

Gojyo tucked his face into Hakkai's neck, "Fuck, Hakkai. Oh, fuck. You're really sure? Really sure?"

Hakkai cradled Gojyo's head in his palms, his fingers buried slightly in the forest of red strands. "I'm sure. More sure of this than of anything else. I want you, Gojyo," there was a pause, "fuck me."

"No."

Hakkai stilled, floored by Gojyo's refusal, "What?"

"No, I don't want to fuck you." He lifted his head and gently placed the softest of kisses on the corner of Hakkai's mouth. "I want to make love to you."

Hakkai smiled in relief, "Ah, yes, Gojyo. Make love to me, kudasai."

Hakkai pulled his head back down to his and they engaged in a slow sensuous kiss. Their mouths slid and played over each other's lips, joining together and pulling apart only to join once again. Their bodies moved together just as slow and sensuous, their erections rubbing against each other and smearing pearls of pre-cum all over their heated skin.

Before long, their movements became forceful, hungry, and finally Gojyo pulled away, "Hakkai! Hakkai, I think we need something to, ah, ease the way. Something … something for," he had to pause to gasp, "for lubricant."

Hakkai couldn't stop his restless writhing, rubbing against Gojyo, "Umm, umm," he seemed to have trouble catching his breath, "there's, umm, some ointment in my, ah, pack."

Gojyo once again devoured his mouth before tearing his lips away and scanning the room. Gods! Hakkai could kiss!

"Your pack," his eyes searched the area and spotted a pack sized lump in the moonlight. It wasn't within reach. "Over there?" It was difficult to be focused with Hakkai sharply nipping at his throat and jaw.

"By the table, yes."

"The table."

"Yes." Hakkai's body arched upwards and his hands reached down, cupping Gojyo's ass, and he ground their hips together. His legs separated and he wrapped them around Gojyo's at about the knee. "Yes. The table. Quickly, Gojyo."

Gojyo tended to forget just how strong Hakkai really was until that strength suddenly showed itself. Like now. Hakkai's grip on him made extracting himself difficult. Add on his soft moans, undulations, and the hot feel of naked skin rubbing against naked skin, well, extraction just wasn't possible.

"Hakkai, Hakkai," he tried to get through to the man under him but his excitement was contagious.

"Mmmm. Oh, Gojyo. Ah, you feel so good."

"Yes, yes. Fuck." Burying his face into Hakkai's neck, he forced his body to stop moving and ignore Hakkai's hungry whine. "Hakkai." The demon's hands gripped at him harder as Hakkai tried to keep Gojyo's larger body moving and Gojyo wondered if they would leave bruises. He raised his head and pressed his forehead against Hakkai's, staring him deep into his gorgeous eyes, "Hakkai!"

He finally got the brunet's attention. The hungry, desperate gyrations slowed and came to a stop. The two men lay still, breathing heavily and staring into each other's eyes.

"Gojyo?"

"Hakkai." He placed a gentle kiss to a pretty nose, "You have to let me go so I can get your pack."

"My pack?"

"Yes. For the ointment."

"Yes, the ointment. It's in my pack, by the table."

"Uh ha. I can't reach it from here."

Hakkai turned his head to look at the pack, by the table, out of Gojyo 's reach. He then looked at himself, his legs wrapped around Gojyo, his arms around his waist, his hands gripping Gojyo's tight ass cheeks.

"No. No I suppose not." He eased up his grip on Gojyo's body and his hands and legs slid off the redhead to the mattress. He couldn't help the sound of protest that rumbled in his throat as Gojyo reluctantly levered himself up and to his feet, and he felt abruptly cold and alone as he waited impatiently for the other man to rifle through his pack. "Look for the larger red bag, Gojyo. It's in there." Hakkai tried to get his excitement under control as Gojyo searched, "The red bag, Gojyo."

"Yeah, yeah, I'm looking. Everything looks black in this light." His hand finally located the correct bag and he pulled it out, turning back toward the bed and Hakkai. The demon was sprawled on the bed watching him. His skin glowed magically in the moonlight and Gojyo allowed his eyes to travel over the lithe form.

His hair looked black in the dim light, struck through with streaks of brown where the light of the moon hit it. The sleep tousled tresses were the most sultry thing Gojyo had ever seen – until he looked at Hakkai's eyes. Those bright, hungry, beautiful eyes. They were staring at him right now, as he stood over the bed holding Hakkai's first aid bag. He imagined his own eyes must be reflecting his own hunger.

He continued his visual tour down Hakkai's body, over his slim though muscular chest, his sexy navel and the beautifully formed hand that lay over the rough scar that only accentuated the perfection of the rest of his form. Hakkai's hand moved downward and his eyes followed it to the thick cock lying hard and straight against his abdomen. Hakkai gripped his cock and began a slow, teasing stroke and Gojyo was surprised to hear a low rumble vibrate out from his own throat at the sight.

Hakkai spread his legs and adjusted his body, displaying himself to Gojyo. Hakkai was watching him. Watching him as he, in turn, watched Hakkai. And it looked like Hakkai was getting off at being watched.

Hakkai was getting off on being watched. At least until he thought about the fact that he was sprawled naked on the bed, masturbating, with Gojyo standing over him watching. Once he thought about it, he became self-conscious and a feeling of awkwardness began to creep in. His hand slowed.

"Gojyo." He cleared his throat when the name barely sounded in the room and he tried again, "Gojyo."

That seemed to do the trick as Gojyo's body gave a slight jerk and he stepped up to the bed, leaning over.

"You've got to be the sexiest man alive, Hakkai. Did you know that? It seems such a crime that you've denied this body of yours the pleasure it deserves." They kissed for several more minutes before Gojyo pulled away. "You ready?"

"Yes. Yes I am," and Hakkai turned over onto his stomach, offering himself.

Gojyo unscrewed the tube of ointment and quickly coated himself. Leaning forward, he dragged his mouth down Hakkai's neck and over his shoulder. He slid his dick along the cleft of Hakkai's ass before seeking his tight entrance.

As soon as Hakkai felt the head of Gojyo's rod prod gently at him, he felt some of his passion wane. He didn't expect it to feel quite so large. Granted, he knew it was big, but suddenly it felt … well … massive. He couldn't help his cheeks from clenching closed and his hips from flinching away.

Gojyo paused, "You ok?"

"Ah, ah, yes. Yes, Gojyo. It's alright." He tried to ignore his worries and relax but Gojyo's first press into him caused him to slightly panic. He clenched again and Gojyo again paused.

"Hakkai?"

Hakkai closed his eyes in shame and resolved to get through this, "It's alright, Gojyo. Go ahead. Do it, please."

Gojyo listened to the body language of the man under him and realized there was a problem. Never had he taken someone who wasn't totally willing and he began to get the feeling that Hakkai was no longer as willing as he was at the start of this. He paused and thought a moment.

"Press your legs together," Gojyo's voice was shaking as he straddled Hakkai's legs. Running his fingers down the brunet's back and over the shapely globes presented to him, Gojyo grabbed his rod and pressed the head between the thighs squeezed together. He sunk into the crevasse created, trying to imagine he was sinking into Hakkai's ass.

He reached around and grasped Hakkai's cock and slid his hand up and down its length. He started pumping his hips, surprised at how good this felt although it wasn't very tight. He tried to match his strokes to his thrusts. He liked the feel of Hakkai's prick sliding through his fingers and Hakkai was now moving to his rhythm so all he had to do was just grip his prick; Hakkai created the friction with his own movements.

He was way too worked up. At this rate, Hakkai would begin to think his new lover had very little staying power but everything was just too new and his excitement when he was with Hakkai matched the excitement he had when he first lost his virginity. He could only hope his control would return with time.

Hakkai felt awful that Gojyo was abstaining from actual penetration, yet also felt relieved. He knew there must be a way to take a co-. To get fu -. To be penetrated but at the moment it didn't seem possible. If this worked for his Gojyo, then it could work for him.

Gojyo's long, callused fingers stroking him quickly brought his passion back. He could feel the hard length of Gojyo sliding along the underside of his balls. Now and then, it almost felt like he would rub up against something pleasurable in the area between his anus and his balls. He wiggled a bit, trying unsuccessfully to rub that area against Gojyo more. He levered himself up just enough to slide his hand down, past Gojyo's hand and his own heavy balls, until he could feel the head of Gojyo's cock as it peeked in and out from between his legs. He curled his fingers gently around the lubed head and pressed upward.

A rough groan vibrated out of the redhead and a tremor shook through his body as he settled himself lightly against his back, "Ahhhhh, fuck! Hakkai!" He sped up the rhythm.

Ah, yes. That was better. Now he could direct Gojyo to rub right along that spot and his hips began a stronger pumping back. He curled his other arm to help support him and give him leverage to move with the man behind him.

Gojyo ran his mouth along the top of Hakkai's shoulder, tasting salt and flesh and something distinctly Hakkai. The healer's fingers stroked and pressed against the head of his cock, forming a tighter tunnel for him to pump into. And pump he did. Hakkai's moans and sounds of pleasure filled his ears as his body moved insistently against him. He was in heaven.

He mouthed Hakkai's ear, flicking his tongue over the warm limiters there. They tingled when he licked them, like pressing his tongue to a c-cell battery. Hakkai bucked and a low growl poured from him. That growl traveled down Gojyo's spine and vibrated through his nuts, tightening them. He just let Hakkai pump into his fist.

Hakkai bucked and writhed and Gojyo just rode him out. His back bowed over Hakkai and he gave in to the lust pulsing through him. He let it build and consume him, engulfing him in an inferno of white, feeling the violent shaking of the man under him and a drenching wetness wash over his hand.

When Gojyo was once again able to make out sensations other than pleasure, he realized he was sprawled over Hakkai, his hand trapped beneath their bodies still holding Hakkai's now softened cock. His own cock was still between Hakkai's relaxed thighs, only a slight trembling still passing through the healer. Too boneless to move, he felt himself drift back to sleep hoping he didn't smother his lover before morning.

***

Later that morning, Hakkai walked into the Laundromat juggling their bags of laundry with his new book from Gojyo tucked under his arm. He had noticed a bookstore right across the street and he visualized Gojyo actually going inside for his gift. He felt warm and he smiled at his lover's consideration.

Going to the first open washing machine, he set the bags on the table next to it and opened them. Reaching in, he began pulling out the clothes and quickly separating them by color. Fabric type wasn't so much an issue as they all tended to wear durable clothes for this trip, no delicates with their group. The only real exception were Sanzo's robes which were large enough that, with his four sets together, they came close enough to warrant their own load by themselves. Before long he was ready to start.

His eyes kept drifting over to the bookstore across the street, sure that it must be the one Gojyo had found last night. As he walked over to the vending machine that sold detergent, he contemplated whether he could run over to look while the clothes were drying. There were three open washers so he could get all the clothes going at once. However, they should only take about twenty minutes or so before they were done and would be ready to put in the dryers.

He didn't like leaving their clothes, especially since the time he had fallen asleep once while waiting for the load to finish and woke up just in time to witness a young boy quietly making off with Goku's clothes. He had apprehended the thief and let him off with a stern warning and the fear of retribution – and had kept the whole incident to himself. Didn't need Sanzo chewing him out.

Perhaps he would have time after he finished the laundry and while he was collecting supplies. Sighing, he sat down and opened his book, beginning to read.

Twenty minutes later, the buzzer went off for the first of his washers and he got up to place the wet clothes into a dryer. After the last of the other loads were drying, he sat again to wait the hour it took to dry.

His eyes again drifted to the bookstore.

The only other person in the Laundromat was a young woman and her three children. He had been so engrossed in his book that he had failed to notice when she entered. From the amount of clothes she had, and the fact that he was using three of the eight dryers, it looked as if she would be here awhile. Making his decision, he stood and approached her.

"Sumimasen," the woman looked up at him. "I hate to be a bother, but I find there is an errand I suddenly realize I had forgotten and I have clothing drying. Would it be too much of an inconvenience if I were to ask if you could just keep an eye on my laundry for a short while? I should be back by the time they are done."

"Oh, that would be no problem at all. As you can see, I'll be here for a while. I'll make sure nothing happens to your things." Her smile easily reassured Hakkai about leaving their clothes.

"Domo arigatoo gozaimasu," he thanked her. "I will return as quickly as I can." Grabbing Gojyo's gift – he wasn't about to leave that behind – he walked out the door and crossed the street, entering the bookstore.

Just inside he stopped, impressed at the size of the place. He didn't realize how far back the building went. He barely registered the sound of the bell hanging just above the door jangling as he entered. His eyes scanning the shelves and the various signs above the isles indicating subjects, he took a few steps in.

"Sumimasen," the man's voice turned his head toward the sound and he saw a young clerk standing behind a counter. "Gomen nasai, but I'm afraid you will not be able to carry your book in with you. It may create confusion. If you like, we can keep it here for you until you are ready to leave.

"Oh! Yes, that is fine. I understand." He handed the book to the clerk, a bit surprised at how reluctant he was to part from Gojyo's gift. Smiling politely, he continued into the store.

First, he went to the medical section, looking for books on anatomy. He was curious about what it was that sent such a bolt of ecstasy through him in a place he never would have thought would have an erogenous zone.

He found several books, many which almost distracted him from his main goal because they had to do with the human body and healing. One in particular he kept with him in case he had enough money to purchase this along with anything else he may find. But he didn't really find what he was looking for.

Next, he wandered down the isle dealing with self-help, relationships, and love. No luck here. Everything seemed to be based on how to nurture relationships, finding the perfect wife (or husband for women), and dealing with making yourself a better person. Again, some of the books looked interesting but were not what he was looking for.

He was just about to leave in disappointment when he noticed a curtained off area not far from the exit. The sign above the gray curtain indicated only those over eighteen were allowed past that point.

Two steps and he stopped. A surreptitious glace showed a woman and the clerk within sight and he realized they could notice him entering into the curtained area. He ducked back into the closest isle and waited. After just a few minutes, he heard the woman step up to the counter and pay for her purchases. Hearing the bell over the door jangle indicated she had left the store afterwards.

He waited several more minutes. Eventually, Hakkai came to the conclusion that the clerk wasn't about to leave his post anytime soon. Taking a deep breath and, figuring guys are guys, he calmly and nonchalantly walked to the curtain and slipped behind it.

Once inside he paused, his heart pounding, and listened for any objections to him being here. When he didn't hear anything, he allowed his eyes to scan the shelves. The room was only about eight square feet with books lining three of the four sides. The curtain took up the fourth side.

After skimming the area, he realized that he hadn't actually looked at anything. He had simply scanned the titles blindly, nervously. Trying to laugh at himself, he stepped up to the shelves and concentrated this time on the titles. At the moment, he was alone within the curtained off area so he even allowed himself to pull a few of the books down off the shelves and flip through the pages.

Most of the books here were based on heterosexual sex and self love *masturbation*. But on the furthest wall of the small curtained off area he found a section of same sex love. One title jumped out at him about half way through the bookcase, "Joy of Gay Sex". He pulled the book from the shelf. Flipping through the pages and scanning the contents determined it dealt with male/male interests rather than the female/female interests that he had seen so far. He added the book to the one he had picked up earlier and continued along the titles.

'Men Loving Men'. This one looked interesting, also. He pulled it from the shelf and was about to open it when he heard the rungs of the curtain slide along the rod. Freezing, he listened as someone walked in and – didn't leave right away.

There was someone else here in this tiny curtained off room.

Where he was.

Looking at sex … books. Pornography. Like he was.

He relaxed marginally. Of course the person must also be looking at the stuff he was looking at, why else would he come in here? You couldn't judge someone when you were doing the same thing, right? He almost sighed with relief.

Until he realized he was standing in front of the gay sex section and the other person – wasn't.

Oh, shit.

For several seconds he froze, confused over what to do, where to go. Stay or leave. If he left just as this other man entered, it could look like he felt embarrassed or ashamed about his sexual inclination. And he wasn't embarrassed or ashamed, it just wasn't anyone else's business and he didn't like broadcasting such a thing.

An eight square foot room with two people in it made for cramped accommodations and for the first time in his life, Hakkai experienced feelings of claustrophobia. He could feel sweat begin to form and trail down the back of his neck. He had to do something before this other guy started to wonder why he was just standing here, frozen.

He took a hesitant step back and bumped into the man, not realizing how close behind him he was.

"Sumimasen," the man murmured.

Hakkai gasped and, with a tiny squawk, fled in a whirlwind of green clothes and gray curtain.

He made it as far as the entrance before remembering Gojyo's gift. His book. The clerk behind the counter was staring at him in shock. Shock and disapproval and he realized he was still holding (clutching) the books he had found here to his chest.

He thinks I'm trying to steal these books.

Hakkai stared at the clerk to the bookstore and took a step towards him to reassure the man that he had no intention of stealing. Of course he would pay for his books.

His porn books. His gay porn books.

He stopped.

The clerk was taller and broader in the shoulder than he was and the man's expression belittled Hakkai. Hakkai didn't like that. The two of them stared at each other. Their eyes narrowed.

Then the clerk lifted up the book Hakkai had left there, Gojyo's gift, with a challenging smirk. Wrong move.

Hakkai's look returned the challenge and, using demon speed, he rushed the clerk. His perspective changed and, in slow motion, he watched the clerk backpedal ineffectually from his sudden onrush. The man's eyes slowly moved to look at him as he came to a stop behind the counter and he grabbed his book from the clerk's hand. Again at demon speed, he fled the store before the clerk could even think of trying to stop him.

He didn't stop until he reached the inn. He found Gojyo in his room retrieving a new pack of cigarettes from his bag. He looked up as Hakkai entered the room, obviously surprised at seeing him and Hakkai warmed to see Gojyo's beautiful eyes caress his body appreciatively.

"Hey, Hakkai. Are you finished with the laundry already? I was just getting ready to find you. Sanzo forgot to leave the gold card at breakfast for supplies and I said I'd get it to you." He smiled, "I thought maybe you'd like some company and help getting supplies." The redhead looked at him again and stepped close, his smile fading away, "What's wrong?"

"Ah ha ha ha. Wrong? Nothing's wrong, Gojyo. Um, not really. Ha ha." Walking to the table, he laid the books on the surface. "But perhaps you could do something for me?"

"Well, sure. Of course." Gojyo stepped up behind him and wrapped his arms around his waist, pulling Hakkai back against his warm body. The soft strands of Gojyo's crimson hair tickled his jaw as the taller man leaned forward and rested his chin on his shoulder. "Oh, did you go to the bookstore? Now that I think about it, I did see a Laundromat across the street form it. What did you buy?"

The book Gojyo had given him last night was on top of the pile and one arm pulled away from around his waist to pick it up and move it off to the side, revealing the book under it.

"'The Joy of Gay Sex'?" Gojyo straightened abruptly and picked up the book, revealing the second one. "And 'Men Loving Men'? Hakkai, these are what you bought?!" Gojyo had one book in each hand as Hakkai stood next to him, feeling a bit bereft of the warm comfort of Gojyo's arms around him now that they were gone.

"Well, you see, ha ha ha, they have a small part in why I need you to do something for me."

"Oh?" Gojyo stacked the two books together in one hand and his other hand opened the top one and started flipping pages. "Hey! There's pictures and illustrations in here!" He stopped at one page and stared.

Hakkai was determined not to blush, "Ah, yes, Gojyo. In any case, I was wondering if you could… Uh, Gojyo? Gojyo?"

Gojyo was intently studying the page he'd opened the book to, reading the paragraph that accompanied the illustration. Sighing, Hakkai reached out and covered the page with his hand, blocking Gojyo's view and finally getting his (now looking pretty lusty and aroused from what he'd seen in the book) attention and explained the situation.

"You stole them?! And he saw you? Hakkai, not only do I have a hard time believing you would resort to stealing – when there was no need, I would have gotten the books for us – but how could you have been seen?"

Hakkai laughed his uncomfortable laugh, looking anywhere but at Gojyo. "It's, ah, not like I planned to steal them. Not at first. It's all the clerk's fault." This last stated quite decisively.

Red eyebrows rose, "The clerk's fault? How was it the clerk's fault?"

"Well, he tried to take your gift hostage."


TBC

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